Cuomo Approves $100,000 For ‘We Connect The Dots’

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Funds will support the construction of a STEAM Research & Education Center

Carey leading and interacting with students during We Connect The Dots’ BuildingSTEAM program at Plainview Old Bethpage School District. (Photos courtesy of We Connect The Dots)

We Connect the Dots (WCTD), a national educational organization based on Long Island, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council for a proposed $2.2 million project to open a state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Research and Education Center. Matching funding for the center project are anticipated in coming months, coming from private sector partners who have embraced the We Connect the Dots mission and purpose.

The high-tech center, the first of its kind in the region, will host programs that are focused on delivering educational and training programs in STEAM fields to the K-12 audience. The center will also play an important role in workforce development initiatives to support the high demand for skills that help blend technology and computer science into everyday life.
The STEAM Research & Education Center, when completed, will allow WCTD to complete its goal of supporting workforce development and offer STEAM focused educational programs for communities on Long Island and across New York State. WCTD’s mission is to heighten student awareness of career opportunities in STEAM and to enable them to compete and succeed in pursuing careers across STEAM industries.

The first place winning team from a prior year We Connect The Dots Code-A-Thon

“Receiving the Regional Economic Development Council grant of $100,000 is significant for us. This support demonstrates that our organization and mission are gaining momentum. We have now taken an important step toward our vision and our mission to address the digital divide,” said We Connect the Dots founder Laurie Carey. “This center will play a key role in achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity for the region’s growing and diverse population. The new STEAM Research & Education Center will become a hub of economic activity, learning and innovation here on Long Island. Educators, students, business leaders and the public will all gain a valuable asset.”

On March 1, WCTD will host the first annual Building STEAM Benefit titled An Evening of Empowerment—where the future is imagined. The event will allow the public to learn more about WCTD’s plans for the center and will preview the newest technology. For information about We Connect the Dots or the upcoming first annual Building STEAM Benefit, call 631-468-7475 or visit www.we-connect-the-dots.org/buildingsteambenefit.

We Connect The Dots Founder Laurie Carey supporting a group of students building their first computer during We Connect The Dots’ CreatingSTEAM program.

“The announcement of the $100,000 grant from the Regional Economic Development Council demonstrates that Governor Cuomo and other state leaders recognize that we must invest more in STEAM education and programs across New York State,” added Carey. “We anticipate leading technology companies, local businesses, health care organizations and the education community will embrace our concept and join our efforts.” 

Long Island, New York State and the nation are faced with a dramatic shortage of young people who are prepared to meet the challenges of the next few decades and beyond. WCTD’s STEAM Research & Education Center will help individuals who are part of the workforce and other organizations to learn how to adapt, use and leverage technology to support inclusive learning experiences. The center includes new podcast studio, ‘Studio Nebula,’ training rooms to support ‘Nebula Academy’ coding bootcamps and collaborative class environments, research partnerships, 3D Animation design and 3D printing, mixed reality with the HoloLens; virtual reality solutions, drone technology, robotic science lab and much more.

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